Oct 20

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Great Salt Lake

Snow melt in the spring and summer fill the Great Salt Lake with water.

Image credit: Drax Felton

Transcript of the Audio Podcast:

The Great Salt Lake… on this CurrentCast.

Snow melting in the spring and summer carries water to the Great Salt Lake in Utah, picking up minerals and other salts as it travels downstream.

Murphy: “When water reaches the Great Salt Lake, the only way it exits that lake is through evaporation.”

That’s Sean Murphy, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. When the water evaporates, it leaves the minerals and salts behind. As a result, the Great Salt Lake is three to five times more salty than the ocean.

Too salty for fish, this hyper-saline environment is home to highly specialized brine shrimp, algae, bacteria, and brine flies.

Covering seventeen hundred square miles, the Great Salt Lake is the largest saline lake in the U.S., but there are thousands more across the American west.

Sean Murphy

Support for CurrentCast comes from the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas. Learn more online at http://www.currentcast.org.

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